Samsung Q80B: One-minute review
The Samsung Q80B is a high value mid range 4k QLED screen that’s well suited for everyday TV viewing and console gaming. It’s positioned just below the brand’s Mini LED Neo QLED models, offering a more conventional full array backlight instead. This means it doesn’t offer the black level performance or the HDR precision of its more expensive stablemates.
However, with four HFR (high frame rate) compatible HDMI inputs, useful Game Bar user interface and a polished smart home interface, only serious home cinephiles are likely to feel shortchanged.
Indeed, the prominence of Samsung’s Game Hub, a full page portal to streaming games services, given it’s clear that’s where its key appeal lies. QLED, after all, is impervious to screen burn, which translates nicely to anxiety free gaming sessions.
The set also has an above average Dolby Atmos compatible sound system.
Samsung Q80B review: Price & release date
- Released August 2022
- Price £1,199 / US$1499 / AUS$2999
The Samsung Q80B is on sale now in the UK, US and Australia.
The 65-inch model we’re testing here sells for £1,399. If that’s not the right size for you, there are plenty of alternatives. The 50-inch QE50Q80B sells for £799, and the 55-inch QE55Q80B £999. Above the 65-incher on our test bench is the 75-inch QE75Q80B, which costs £1,999 as well as the impressively huge 85-inch QE85Q80B, which sells for £2,499.
US buyers will find the same models priced at US$999, US$1199, US$1499, US$2199, and US$3299.
In Australia, there’s no 50-inch Q80B, but the rest of the range are readily available, priced at AUS$1799, AUS$2299, AUS$2999 and AUS$3999 respectively.
Samsung Q80B review: Features
- Quantum Processor 4K
- 4K 120Hz support
- No Freeview Play
The Q80B doesn’t skimp on the feature front. The TV is built around a Quantum Dot LED panel with a full array backlight, which is able to deliver greater colour volume than a regular backlit LED panel.
It also boasts an advanced audio specification, with no fewer than six speakers, allied to the brand’s Object Tracking Sound technology. This provides an enhanced sense of movement around the screen.
The Q80B’s Quantum Processor 4K has the brawn to implement both AI optimised picture tuning and AI sound.
Samsung’s Tizen smart interface ensures there’s no shortage of streaming services on tap, and comes with a number of other attractions, such as a gaming portal and Smartthings oversight.
Connectivity comprises four HDMIs, all of which support 4k 120Hz playback. There’s ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro support and eARC on HDMI 3, for hook-up to a soundbar or AV system.
There’s also a digital optical audio output, two USB ports, and Ethernet.
When it comes to TV tuners, there are both satellite and terrestrial options. There’s also a common interface slot for those that require it.
- Features score: 4.5/5
Samsung Q80B review: Picture quality
- Punchy HDR performance
- No Dolby Vision support
- Excellent Intelligent Mode
The screen, like so many other Quantum Dot sets offered by Samsung, is an obvious choice for bright room viewing. It’s blessed with vibrant colours and fine detail.
A backlit screen will always struggle to deliver the same level of deep black as an OLED, but this set wins more battles than it loses. In rooms with ambient lighting, letterbox bars look darker than grey.
Overall image clarity is high, thanks largely to Samsung’s AI-powered Quantum Processor 4k.
When in Intelligent Mode, the processor works in tandem with the Light Sensor to dynamically manage picture settings according to ambient light. It works well, and if you’re the type of viewer who forgets, or simply can’t be bothered, to footle around in the Picture Settings menu, then it’s a great viewing option.
Disable Intelligent mode and you’ll have access to all the usual image presets, including Filmmaker Mode.
When it comes to HDR, there’s no dodging the fact that the set doesn’t support Dolby Vision.
What you do get is adaptive HDR10+, a less widely adopted dynamic metadata standard, as well as regular HDR10 and HLG.
The lack of Dolby Vision is mitigated somewhat by the set’s HDR performance. We measured peak brightness at 980 nits using a 10 per cent measurement patch.
However there is obvious blooming when whites are placed against a black background.
Image interpolation is slick, with few obvious artefacts, which is good news when it comes to sports, although you’ll want to switch Picture Clarity settings from Auto to Custom, to avoid the soap opera effect.
- Picture quality score: 4/5
Samsung Q80B review: Sound quality
- Object Tracking Sound
- Dolby Atmos support
- Six speaker array
In many ways, the biggest surprise about the Q80B is just how effective and entertaining its sound system is. Samsung has managed, through a combination of Object Sound Tracking technology and native multichannel support, to produce a TV that’s able to create a soundstage far bigger than its footprint or hardware might suggest.
The TV actually employs six directional speakers, including two placed high on the rear for height channel work. Together they throw sound wide and high, yet manage to keep the soundstage coherent.
Even when Dolby Atmos isn’t available, the screen can still make sense of the incoming signal, and steer accordingly.
While you won’t long to add a soundbar from the get go, the TV is compatible with Samsung’s Q-Symphony models, which utilise both TV and soundbar speakers concurrently.
Incidentally, the 50-inch Q80B doesn’t have physical height speakers like the rest of the range, instead relying on virtualisation.
The TV also has Active Voice amplification with Adaptive Sound Plus; this allows volume to be optimised, depending on your local viewing environment, and what you’re watching.
- Sound quality score: 5/5
Samsung Q80B review: Design
- Hefty but neat looking
- Central pedestal stand
- 54.7 mm deep
If you want a wafer thin LED screen, the Q80B isn’t for you. The set has a full array backlight, rather than edge lighting, and consequently comes with more bulk than might be deemed fashionable. That said, the bezel, finished in dark grey, is slim, so viewed from the front all you’ll see is mostly screen.
The Q0B features a central, squared, pedestal stand, rather than edge-placed feet, which makes it less demanding of AV furniture. This metal stand looks substantial and has an attractive textured finish.
- Design score: 3.5/5
Samsung Q80B review: Smart TV & menus
- Smart TV (Tizen)
- Extensive app support
- Smartthings dashboard
The Q80B is based around Samsung’s highly polished Tizen smart platform. The interface recently moved to a full screen Home page design, and now comes with scads of curated content to scroll through.
Streaming service support is extensive. There’s Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Britbox, Now, and Apple TV+, to name just a few. UK buyers expecting to find Freeview Play as the default terrestrial TV service will find only vanilla Freeview, but thankfully all the main channel catch-up apps are on board, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5.
The TV comes with two remote controls. One a standard pointer, and the other a slim, solar powered Bluetooth alternative. Both have quick access buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney plus and Samsung TV plus (Samsung’s own linear TV channel selection, delivered via broadband).
If you’re into voice control, the Q80B works with Bixby, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Smart TV & menus score: 5/5
Samsung Q80B review: Gaming
- 4K 120Hz support
- Variable refresh rate support
- Dedicated Game Hub
The Samsung’s four HDMIs all support 4K 120Hz playback. There’s also ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync Premium Pro support for gaming.
Samsung’s Tizen interface is also home to an all new Game Hub, which features cloud gaming services from Xbox and Utomik, as well as Twitch.
- Gaming score: 4.5/5
Samsung Q80B review: Value
- Future proof HDMI inputs
- Mid-range price point
- No soundbar required
In some ways the 65-inch Q80B occupies an awkward space when it comes to value. It’s significantly more expensive than regular LED screens of the same size, and doesn’t quite cut it at the premium end either.
But as we point out in our Samsung Q80B review, it ticks plenty of boxes.
Picture quality, particularly if you’re a bright room viewer, is impressive, and audio is immersive enough to stave off any additional soundbar purchase, at least until funds allow.
It’s also a competitive buy if you’re a console gamer. Having all four HDMI inputs 120fps ready is a tangible bonus.
- Value score: 4/5
Should you buy the Samsung QE65Q80B?
|Features||No Dolby Vision HDR support, but great gaming features, and Object Tracking Sound.||4.5/5|
|Picture quality||Bright with vibrant color, but some backlight blooming.||4/5|
|Sound quality||Creates a soundstage far bigger than its footprint might suggest||5/5|
|Design||Some bulk, but with a slim bezel, and substantial metal stand.||3.5/5|
|Smart TV and menus||Tizen smart platform is highly polished and has extensive app support.||5/5|
|Gaming||Extensive gaming features, along with dedicated gaming hub.||4.5/5|
|Value||Ticks plenty of boxes for the price.||4.5/5|